Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 7/2/13
For those of you expecting the Detroit Red Wings to create some fireworks over this Fourth of July holiday, prepare to be underwhelmed. With Vincent Lecavalier headed to Philadelphia, David Clarkson demanding the moon and stars, and injury concerns about Nathan Horton, the Wings have refocused on their own unrestricted free agents, acquiring a second-line center, and perhaps extending an overture to Jarome Iginla to gage his interest in Detroit. Over the last two days, Red Wing GM Ken Holland has been in contact with the agents for his own soon-to-be UFAs, Val Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner. Were talking. I think they want to be here, Holland said of Cleary and Brunner. We want to keep them. Filppula is a different story. Although the Wings are still in contact with Filppulas camp, Holland has been informed that the Finnish forward is looking forward to becoming a UFA on Friday. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to contact other teams' potential UFAs 48 hours before they hit the open market on Friday, which means offers can be put on the table as early as Wednesday. It makes sense for Filppula, Cleary and Brunner to listen to other teams because they have a two-day window to gather offers, then take them back to the Red Wings if they so choose. I like it. It's an opportunity for every team to reach out to unrestricted free agents and make a case, said Holland about the new 48-hour period. It's good for players. They'd get calls at noon on July 1 (in the past) and have to make a decision in two hours. That's a big decision for a player and club. From the club's perspective, you'd like the opportunity to make contact and tell them about our program. It gives players a chance to hear from a number of teams. It's a great part of the new CBA.'' Holland believes that once a player becomes a UFA, he will sign with another club. And since Filppula has already indicated that hes eagerly anticipating Friday, it appears that he already has one foot out of Detroit. There's a significant difference. That's why it doesn't appear we're positioned to do a deal, Holland said about his talks with Filppula. I'll stay in contact with Fil's agent. If it's time to leave, it's time to leave.'' Although its doubtful Filppula will return, the Wings feel they have a good shot of retaining Cleary. The biggest obstacle is the length of the contract. Detroit prefers a two-year deal, while Cleary is seeking at least a three-year contract. If the two sides can come to an agreement on the term of the deal, they each feel confident they can hammer out the money side quickly. Brunner is an unknown. There really isnt a market value set for him, so what hes hearing from other teams beginning Wednesday will obviously determine whether the Wings can sign the goal-scoring forward or not. It will come down to money with Brunner, and right now the Wings are clueless about Brunners asking price or what's a fair amount. COMPLIANCE BUYOUTS Detroit will use one of its two compliance buyouts on defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. The Wings will put Colaiacovo on waivers at noon on Wednesday. Once he clears waivers 24 hours later, the Wings will buy out his contract. The deadline to use a compliance buyout is 5 p.m. on Thursday. Colaiacovos cap hit for this season is 2.5 million, which the Wings will take off the books. Actually, Colaiacovo was scheduled to make 2.85 million for 2013-14, so Detroit will owe him two-thirds (around 1.9 million) of that amount over the next two seasons. The Wings will not use their other compliance buyout, meaning that forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Todd Bertuzzi are safe. PURSUING OTHER TEAMS' UFAs The Wings are planning on contacting several UFAs. Their main objective will be signing a second-line center. At this point, Detroits main target is former Plymouth Whaler Stephen Weiss. Weiss, 30, is a quality two-way center who's not physical; however, hes creative, has terrific acceleration, is good on face-offs and has the ability to make players around him better. There will be many teams after Weiss. If the Wings cannot persuade him to come to Motown, a couple of other names to keep on the radar are Matt Cullen and Mike Ribeiro, although Ribeiro may be too expensive. IGINLA A RED WING? Detroit is intrigued by future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla. They like Iginlas game a lot, but some in the Wings organization are concerned that Iginla at 36 years old will not be able to play the 200-foot game of going up and down the ice and checking. Of course, Iginla might have little interest in becoming a Red Wing if they reach out to him.
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